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An operating system, abbreviated OS or O/S is a program or set of programs that coordinates computer usage among users, manages computer resources, and handles common tasks.Why are there different kinds of cars or different kinds of shoes? Football players and ballet dancers wear different shoes (in their job) because they have different needs. Nike vs. Adidas or Honda vs. Toyota. In the case of operating systems different operating systems serve different needs. The tasks that servers perform are somewhat different than the tasks that clients perform. So server operating systems will normally have different features than client operating systems. Some operating systems, such as many variants of UNIX, can be used for both client and server systems.But aren’t Windows Vista,
Macintosh Leopard and Ubuntu Linux all client operating systems? For the most part it’s a matter of preference although certain operating systems only work with certain hardware. For example, you can only run Leopard on a Macintosh computer and you cannot run Windows on (older) Macintosh computers. Particular software packages only run on certain platforms. For example, the video editing program Final Cut Pro is a Macintosh exclusive; Sony Vegas Video is a Windows only video editing program. Other programs such as Adobe Premiere are available in both formats. Programs that are available in several formats typically have slight differences in user interface and features. is the process in which a computer apparently executes multiple tasks simultaneously. This can be accomplished in two ways: by having more than one processor, each performing tasks or by having one processor switch between tasks. The speed of a CPU is much faster than any I/O device. Therefore if your computer were only executing one program such as a word processor, the CPU would stay idle most of the time since no human can type fast enough.CPU time If a computer is multitasking on a single processor then the CPU is switching between tasks. The operating system has the responsibility to switch tasks on and off via a system called preemptive multitasking.RAM The O/S is responsible for allocating blocks of memory to store running programs,
data and other necessary files. When the computer switches between tasks the operating system must know the exact location in memory that should be accessed next in order to accomplish the task that is at hand.Virtual Memory is a technique that fools a program into thinking that it is using memory when in fact it is using storage. Von Neumann architecture states that a program that is running must be contained in memory while it is being run and the piece of data that is being processed must be there too. If the computer does not have sufficient memory then the operating system can use some disk storage as if it were memory in order to allow more programs to run simultaneously or to allow a program to manipulate a large amount of data. See the virtual memory link below for more details.